Shoppers at a Spar outlet in Rustenburg, North West. Picture: MARTIN RHODES
Spar’s offshore investments are doing more poorly than local and African sales as it struggles in Switzerland and experiences marginal growth in its Irish business.  

The wholesale retailer released a subdued earnings update for the 18 weeks to end-January with a 5.45% increase year on year, but minor growth in Ireland and a downturn in Switzerland.

Ireland wholesale and retail sales were up 0.7%, with the group saying Brexit concerns led to a “challenging” consumer environment.

Spar reported that turnover at its Swiss business was down 1.9%, but that it had fared better than other listed retail operations in that country. “Management remains satisfied that the implemented strategies in Switzerland will continue to show positive terms,” it said.